Deputy Tony McLoughlin
Fine Gael TD for Sligo/Leitrim/South Donegal/West Cavan, Tony McLoughlin, has announced his position in relation to the proposed referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution this morning.
The Assistant Fine Gael Party Whip has said that “first and foremost, I want to reiterate that I am a strong believer in the role of democracy in our society and I entirely support the people of Ireland having their say on complex issues such as the Eight Amendment.
“This is why I am fully in favour of having a referendum on this issue and I will be voting in favour of this when it comes before me over the coming weeks. I believe that after a long period of time, it is now up to the people of Ireland to ultimately to have their say on what is a very personal, sensitive and divisive issue in our country.
“However, having read the Joint Committee Report on the Eight Amendment and given it careful consideration with my close family and constituents, I wish to state that I am not in favour of its findings and that I have serious reservations about the twelve week recommendation contained within.
“For me the question of asking when human life begins is a philosophical argument in my opinion and it is one of the key reasons why I cannot support it. I also believe that there are serious implications in legislation for abortion on request up to 3 months and that we could open ourselves up to unforeseen consequences in this regard.
“This decision has been a very hard and difficult decision to come to, and ultimately it is only my own personal opinion on the issue. I am not seeking to influence anyone’s thoughts on the Eight Amendment with this statement. I am merely stating my honest and humble opinion as a public representative is expected to do during referendums.
“I have enormous respect for women. I have the privilege of being a husband and a proud father and being pro-life is central to my own personal family beliefs. I believe that humanity in all its forms should be nurtured and protected and because of my deep concerns with this report and with the prospect of abortions being allowed on demand for up to twelve weeks’ as being proposed in this report, I will be voting to maintain the Eight Amendment in the May referendum,” concluded McLoughlin.